Programmed Electrical Stimulation Protocols: Variations on a Theme


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A series of prospective protocols were designed to determine the yield ratio (true positives vs. false positives = nonclinical) in various patient groups using a variety of programmed electrical stimulation (PES) variables. First, a PES protocol was used in 772 patients. Single, double, and triple extrastimuli were delivered in sequence (leaving each successive extrastimulus just beyond its refractory period before moving to the next extrastimulus) during sinus rhythm and two ventricular paced rates at the RV apex, before moving to the outflow tract and repeating the sequence and then moving on to isoproterenol infusion with the PES sequence repeated at the apex. This protocol met NASPE standards for induction of VT in patients with coronary artery disease and a history of VT, while failing to induce monomorphic VT in any control patient. The best yield ratios combined with the greatest likelihood of inducing clinical tachycardia were achieved with sinus rhythm and three extrastimuli, and pacing at the lower rate and three extrastimuli. Pacing at the faster rate and triple extrastimuli was highly inductive of clinical arrhythmias, but had a low yield ratio due to induction of more nonclinical arrhythmias than other steps. The next protocol was performed in 61 patients with inducible ventricular tachycardia. In each case, the protocol described above was completed at the RV apex, even if tachycardia was also induced at an earlier point in the protocol. This allowed for more accurate yield ratios to be established for each step in the protocol, since each patient was exposed to each of these steps. The results confirmed those of the first protocol described above. The next protocol compared extrastimuli delivered (1) in a straight sequential fashion (each extrastimulus decremented to its refractory period and then left just late enough to capture while the next extrastimulus was added and decremented in a similar fashion); versus (2) the tandem method, in which after reaching refractoriness, each extrastimulus was moved 50 msec beyond the refractory period and then decremented in tandem with the next extrastimulus. Preliminary analysis of this protocol in > 30 subjects indicates no significant difference in the number of clinical or nonclinical arrhythmias induced with these methods, although the tandem method was much more time consuming. We conclude that a simple sequential PES protocol, taken to refractoriness, is efficient and effective, and is not at a disadvantage compared to more complex or cumbersome protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2180-2187
Number of pages8
JournalPacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Programmed Electrical Stimulation Protocols: Variations on a Theme'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this